As excited as I was to travel to Peru, I was not looking forward to the actual journey. I originally booked my tickets in November with American Airlines. My original itinerary cost about $450 roundtrip and was fairly simple. I would fly out of Washington Dulles International Airport to Miami and then from Miami to Lima, Peru’s capital city. This was the same route that my return trip would be (but in reverse). The whole trip would have taken 12 hours each way. Unfortunately, my itinerary changed several times prior to me even checking in for my flight. Now instead of going from DC to Miami, I would have to do an overnight layover in Dallas. This meant I would have to also pay $70 for a hotel room. As annoyed as I was about the itinerary changes, I am also grateful that none of my flights were cancelled which had happened regularly throughout the holiday season, mostly due to COVID-19 complications.
The day that I left for Peru started out like any other; I woke up, went to the gym, came home, and showered. I packed up my travel bag with all the essentials (i.e. passport, running shoes, computer, phone charger) and looked for an Uber. As I alluded to in my previous post, things have gotten significantly more expensive since my last trip and rideshare services were no exception. The cost of an Uber from my apartment in Northwest DC to Washington Dulles International Airport was $67. Honestly, I could have rented a car and drove it to the airport myself for that price. I decided to take public transportation to the closest metro and then Uber from there for a more reasonable price. I took the bus to downtown DC and from there I took the silver-line metro train to Reston Town Center in Virginia. Much to my surprise, there was actually an airport shuttle right outside the Metro station that only cost $5 to go straight to the airport. My trip to the airport took about an hour and a half while only costing me about $14 total.
My flight to Dallas was uneventful and I arrived at about 5 PM. On Google Maps, my hotel was about 1.5 miles away from the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Upon getting out of the terminal, I was annoyed to find out that the hotel shuttle didn’t start running until 6 PM. Rather than wait around for an hour or pay $25 to take an Uber directly from the airport, I hopped on the rental car shuttle and took an Uber from there for about $10. The hotel itself was in an inconvenient spot as it was about a mile from all the restaurants. I was originally going to bite the bullet and order through Door Dash until I saw that most of the restaurants had >$6 delivery fees. Even as expensive as DC is, I have never seen delivery fees that high. As such, I ended up making the walk myself and getting a sandwich. The next morning, I woke up and checked out my hotel at 7 AM. During my check-in, I had scheduled the hotel shuttle to take me to the airport; however, the employee forgot to record it in the system. Due to the hotels mistake of having no driver on duty, the hotel general manager ended up having to wake up to drive me in his family van.
The most frustrating part of my trip came from trying to navigate the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. I was originally dropped off at Terminal E which had an American Airlines ticket counter. However, upon talking to the ticket agent, I was told that I had to go to Terminal B. What they didn’t tell me was Terminal B was as close to Terminal E as my office was to my apartment. You literally have to get back on the highway to go from terminal to terminal. While there was a terminal shuttle, it stopped at every terminal to pick people up and drop people off whilst going about 10 miles an hour. I would have reached Terminal B quicker if I had called a taxi instead. By the time I got to Terminal B, I had about 25 minutes until my flight was to board. I got to the ticket agent at Terminal B only to be told I had to go to Gate B-4 which was literally on the other side of the terminal. At this point, I went from leaving my hotel with 2 hours to kill to there being a strong possibility that I would miss my flight. I ended up having to sprint about half a mile to the right ticket counter. Fortunately, I had TSA Pre-check and was able to go through the security lane fairly quickly. I arrived to my gate just before they called my group to board.
I arrived in Miami about 12 PM and barely had enough time to buy lunch before having to board my follow-on flight to Lima. As I write this, I am about 4 hours in to a 6-hour flight. While this experience reminds me why I continue to hate flying and airplanes, I can’t help but appreciate the opportunity that awaits me in about 2 hours.